NFL Denies Discussing Punishment for Patriots-Bengals Video Incident

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2020

El quarterback de los Patriots de Nueva Inglaterra Tom Brady abandona el estadio tras caer ante los Dolphins de Miami el domingo 29 de diciembre del 2019. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The New England Patriots could face discipline for a video crew's illegal filming of the Cincinnati Bengals sideline this season, but the NFL hasn't made a decision yet, per ESPN's Adam Schefter:

This comes on the heels of Schefter reporting earlier Saturday that a punishment will "likely" be announced within the next two weeks. The Patriots acknowledged a crew working for their video department improperly filmed the Bengals sideline during a December game against the Cleveland Browns but said it was not at the behest of football operations.

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported Wednesday the league found no evidence connecting the two departments. Schefter used two past examples of similar infractions to note the Patriots could be facing a six-figure fine and loss of a draft pick.

"I don't have anything to do with this at all, whatsoever. Whatever is going on between the people involved in it and the league and all that, it's not a football issue in any way, shape or form," Belichick told reporters last month. "I have no involvement. I don't know anything about this."

The story made national news because of its similarity to Spygate, which exposed the Patriots' longstanding history of illegally filming opposing teams from 2000 to 2007. The NFL fined Belichick $500,000 and docked the team $250,000 and its 2008 first-round draft pick.

New England's position has been that the events are unrelated and that the videographer was in Cleveland to film an advance scout for a web series. In video obtained by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the videographer offered to delete the footage of the Cincinnati sideline. However, a Bengals security officer who caught the crew filming their sideline called in NFL security, and the league launched an investigation.

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If Schefter's speculation regarding the penalty proves true, it would seem the NFL believes Belichick and the Patriots football operations staff had nothing to do with the filming. If the investigation finds otherwise, it's likely the punishment would be the fiercest in league history because of the team's repeated violations of NFL rules.